Friday, February 26, 2010

One city’s trash is the county’s treasure

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County commissioners got a welcome visit Tuesday from Terry Schultz, executive director of Southern Idaho Solid Waste, the district responsible for managing the Ohio Gulch transfer station. Schultz presented the commission with a check for $159,000 and promised two more checks of the same amount over the next three years.

The money is Blaine County's share of a $1.4 million payment from Twin Falls, required when the city bought into the waste district in 2000. The five other counties in the waste district—Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln and Minidoka—also received a share of this payment, allocated in proportion to the amount of solid waste transferred to the Milner Butte landfill.

Schultz said Twin Falls only recently completed its total payment.

Commission Chair Larry Schoen said the money will go into the county's solid waste fund.

In addition to presenting the check, Schultz said the county is saving about $266,000 per year due to last year's purchase of larger trailers for transporting waste from Ohio Gulch to the landfill near Burley.

The savings stem from the fact that nearly 800 fewer trips are required annually with the larger trailers, which have 40 percent more carrying capacity than the older models.

Because the $1.6 million cost of the trailers is still being paid, the net savings to the county is $190,000 per year, about $80,000 more than the county and the waste district had originally projected.

"The fewer trailer trips has been very noticeable," County Commissioner Tom Bowman told Schultz at the meeting. "It's made a big difference."

Jon Duval:

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